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Stocks - Dow Plunges to Second Weekly Loss as Dour December Continues

Published 12/14/2018, 03:51 PM
Updated 12/14/2018, 04:35 PM
© Reuters. – The Dow closed lower for the second-straight week on Friday, as fears over slowing global growth triggered a steep selloff across stocks on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 2.02%, and is down 1.2% for the week. The S&P 500 dropped 1.91%, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.26%.

A sea of red washed over Wall Street, as weak industrial output and retail sales from China and subdued eurozone growth data flagged concerns about global growth, prompting traders to abandon stocks.

The selloff was led by health care on the back of slump in the shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ).

Johnson & Johnson fell more than 10% after Reuters reported the company knew for decades that its talcum baby powder contained asbestos, something the company denied.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), meanwhile, weighed on tech as analysts continued to warn about weaker iPhone sales, sending its share price more than 3% lower.

TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo cut his estimate for first quarter 2019 by 20% to a range of 38 million to 42 million units.

Ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week, investors continued to abandon bank stocks, pressuring financials, which have fallen about 10% so far this month.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C) were down on the day.

The corporate earnings front offered little solace for investors as Costco's (NASDAQ:COST) mixed results were punished, adding to concerns that retailers are set for a tough holiday period.

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets downplayed the results, citing store traffic growth that remained "healthy."

Autos, however, managed to weather the selloff storm somewhat after China said it will temporarily reduce tariffs on imports of American-made cars.

The Chinese Finance Ministry said in a statement that it will cut tariffs on car imports from the United States to 15% from 40% for three months starting Jan. 1.

General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Ford (NYSE:F) closed roughly flat for the day.

Strong retail sales data, meanwhile, were largely cast aside in the midst of the selloff, even as analysts said the data pointed to strong consumer spending and underlying strength in the broader economy.

"The strength of this number will surely force Q4 growth estimates higher. As for us, we went into this number looking for Q4 consumption of 3.2% and we will now take that to 3.5%. That takes Q4 GDP to 3.1% from 2.9%," RBC said in a note to clients.

Top S&P 500 Gainers and Losers Today:

Scana Corporation (NYSE:SCG), up 6.3%, Sealed Air (NYSE:SEE), up 4.8%, and Public Storage (NYSE:PSA), up 2.29%, were among the top S&P 500 gainers for the session

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), down 10%, Costco (NASDAQ:COST), down 8.6%, and Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS), down 8.2%, were among the worst S&P 500 performers of the session.

Latest comments

Its just the beginning... more drops to come... I would buy DOG... and hedge with Gold and Silver.
and the fall continues
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